Elmore Magazine Review of Vince Gill's 'Guitar Slinger'
Vince Gill has honed his “high lonesome” tenor voice into an instrument of incredible power, beauty, and soulfulness. On Guitar Slinger, he’s transcended the genre limitations of country (although there’s plenty of beautiful country-as-dirt tracks among these 12 gems) to put forth a kind of White Soul (as oxymoronic as that may sound). Combine that with lead guitar chops that make the title of this album satisfyingly true and a compositional flair second-to-none in Nashville, and you’ve got one of the best albums of the year. The inherent beauty of songs like “Threaten Me with Heaven,” “When the Lady Sings the Blues,” and “If I Die,” comes with the added dimension of a heartbreakingly profound ache. His words have never been more poignant; his stories cut right to the meat of the matter. His tale of a friend-gone-wrong, “Billy Paul,” is a haunting reminder of our human frailty. A zesty good-timey honky-tonkin’ aesthetic informs the title track. His duet with wife Amy Grant on “True Love” entwines their voices like spooning in bed. I thought he’d never equal 2006’s These Days box. I was wrong. This dude just keeps getting better.